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How Often Are Children Hospitalized for Pneumonia Readmitted?

July 23, 2014

How Often Are Children Hospitalized for Pneumonia Readmitted?

  1. Louis M. Bell, MD

Overall, 8% of children were readmitted within 30 days.

  1. Louis M. Bell, MD

Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization and readmission in children. In a retrospective study, researchers used the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) database to examine readmissions among 82,566 children (median age, 3 years) hospitalized for pneumonia in 2008–2011.

Eight percent of admitted children with pneumonia were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days. Children younger than 1 year were almost twice as likely as children aged 1–4 years to be readmitted (odds ratio, 1.73), and children with chronic medical conditions were three times more likely to be readmitted than children without chronic conditions. Most readmissions (58%) were during the first 14 days after discharge. Children in an intensive care unit or who underwent pleural drainage did not have higher rates of readmission. Hospitals with the highest annual admissions for pneumonia had fewer readmissions than hospitals with the lowest volume. Eight diagnoses (all respiratory diseases) accounted for >54% of readmissions: 23% were readmitted with a diagnosis of pneumonia.

Comment

Given how often children are hospitalized for pneumonia, knowing that children younger than 1 year and those with chronic conditions are at highest risk for readmission could help improve transition from inpatient to outpatient care and follow-up.

  • Disclosures for Louis M. Bell, MD at time of publication Grant / Research support Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award; National Center for Pediatric Practice Based Research Learning Editorial boards Current Problems in Pediatric Adolescent Healthcare

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